The EOS-1D, Canon's long-standing professional digital SLR, has been revamped and will hit the stores in April as the EOS-1D Mark II. The new version, at 8.2mp, will nearly double the resolution of its predecessor. The camera will be available from April at around £3,000 plus VAT.

Like the EOS-1D, the Mark II version is aimed squarely at sports and news photographers, offering 8.5fps. By doubling the resolution and keeping the price competitive, Canon must be looking to claw back some of the advantage gained by rivals such as Kodak and Nikon over the somewhat elderly EOS-1D.

The EOS-1Ds, launched over a year ago, retains top spot in Canon's range of digital SLRs with a resolution of 11.1mp, and close to double the price of the Mark II. With a speed of only 3fps the EOS-1Ds is aimed more at studio work.

The EOS-1D Mark II achieves its high-speed and resolution through the use of Canon's next generation DIGIC II processor, a new proprietary CMOS sensor and a larger buffer. Together they deliver 40 frame bursts at 8.5fps in JPEG, or 20 frame bursts in RAW mode, Canon claims. There is also a new on-chip noise elimination circuit.

The camera will take all EF lenses and has a 45 point autofocus system. The four metering modes are evaluative, partial (8.5 per cent at centre), spot (2.4 per cent at centre) and centre-weighted average. The shutter speed range is 30 to 1/8000 sec, with flash synchronization at 1/250 sec. The camera supports 5 types of colour space.